Rhode Island politicians, fresh from expensive primary and general elections, still have millions of dollars left in their campaign accounts. And those in powerful legislative positions are leading the way.

Speaker of the House Joseph Shekarchi, D-Dist. 23 has amassed a robust campaign fund of nearly $1.7 million, according to the latest campaign finance report.

WhatsUpNewp looked at the final campaign finance reports of all those elected in November, showing that collectively those in the state House of Representatives and State Senate have some $4.3 million in their accounts. The amounts vary considerably from a couple of legislators who showed minor deficits to Shekarchi.

The totals only represent money now in the legislators’ accounts. It does not represent the thousands, possibly millions that legislators spent running for office this year and did not measure the accounts of those who lost.

We also did not include the general officers, who spent millions on their campaigns, including losing gubernatorial candidate Republican Ashley Kalus who loaned her campaign nearly $5 million. Of the general officers, incoming Secretary of State Greg Amore reported the most robust campaign account at $59,689, with Attorney General Peter Neronha not far behind at $50,141.

It’s in the legislature where powerful positions translate into very healthy campaign funds. Here’s a look at some of those with the healthiest accounts:

  • Speaker of the House Joseph Shekarchi, D-Dist. 23 — $1,695,962.
  • Rep. Marvin Abney, D-Dist. 73, chair of the House Finance Committee — $238,990.
  • Rep. Christopher Blazejewski, D-Dist. 2, the House Majority Leader — $170,501.
  • Joseph Solomon, Jr. – D-Dist. 22, chair of the House Corporations Committee — $126,341.
  • Rep. Raymond Hull, D-Dist. 6, chair of the House Municipal Government, Housing committee — $125,039.
  • Rep. Charlotte Lima, D-Dist. 14, Deputy Speaker of the House — $95,179.’
  • The largest account among state Senators was Sen. Susan Sosnowski, D-Dist. 37, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee — $72,603.

Surprisingly, Senate President Dominick Ruggeri, D-Dist. Showed a balance of $5,735. However, Ruggeri, who did not have a general election opponent, reported in April a campaign fund balance of $239,176. He drew that down, according to his finance reports, with various campaign-related expenses for his own campaign and for the campaign of other legislators. He also contributed liberally to other legislative campaigns.

Funds in campaign accounts cannot be used for personal use. They can be used for campaign expenses, can be donated to other political campaigns, or donated to charities.

Here’s a look at balances in Newport area legislators’ accounts, according to their last reports filed with the Board of Elections:

  • Senator Walter Felag, D-Dist. 10 — $38,416.
  • Senator – elect Linda Ujifusa, D-Dist. 11 — $4,399.
  • Senator Lou DiPalma, D-Dist. 12 — $53,466.
  • Senator Dawn Euer, D-Dist. 13 — $36,538.
  • Rep. John Edwards, D-Dist. 70 — $72,974.
  • Rep. Michelle McGaw, D-Dist. 71 — $8,101.
  • Rep. Terri-Denise Cortvriend, D-Dist. 72 — $17,649. 
  • Rep. Marvin Abney, D-Dist. 73 — $238,990.
  • Rep. – elect Alex Finkelman, D-Dist. 74 — $27,773.
  • Rep. Lauren Carson, D-Dist. 75 — $30,112.